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Countdown starts as Kolkata gets ready for historic Day/Night Test

Sports Lounge Staff

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Kolkata: After the first Test between India and Bangladesh finished inside the first three days, preparations for the pink ball Test, which will be played at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, got under way in full swing earlier than expected.

Players from both the teams had spent their time practicing with the pink ball both in daylight and under the lights in Indore, the venue of the first Test which India won by an innings and 130 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series, before moving the base to Kolkata.

With both the teams set to make their pink ball Test debut, here’s what the players have said ahead of the historic game:

Virat Kohli, India captain: “Our focus is to take the Indian cricket higher and higher. The motivation has been right, the intent has been right and we are going to keep pushing in that direction. The pink-ball Test is going to be exciting. It’s going be a landmark event for Indian cricket and Indian Test cricket.

Ajinkya Rahane, India vice-captain: “We had two good practice sessions, actually four but two with pink ball – one during the day and one under lights. It was actually exciting. For me, it was the first time I played with the pink ball and definitely it’s a different ball game as compared to red ball. Our focus was to look into the swing and seam movement and also play close to our body.”

Abu Jayed, Bangladesh paceman: “My brother got me a pink ball from England some 8-10 months ago. That was the first time when I saw a pink ball in person. I did not have the opportunity to bowl with it but I did some seaming. I still have that ball at home. Our squad did have a practice session with the pink ball back at Dhaka but I was playing at NCL (National Cricket League) at that time.”

Mehidy Hasan, Bangladesh spinner: “It’s a totally new experience, we are not tensed at all,” Mehidy said after his team’s practice session on Monday, 18 November. “I think we all are excited to play the day/night Test with a pink ball for the first time. That’s a matter of huge excitement. We remain normal and take the preparation that we usually take before any match.”

Cheteshwar Pujara, India batsman: “Sometimes it is challenging in twilight playing with the pink ball. You need little more practice and once you keep playing with the pink ball at that time (twilight), you start getting used to it. It’s just about doing a few more practice sessions before we play the match.

The historic day/night Test starts on Friday, 22 November.

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